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Texas Counties Deliver
  • With the start of hurricane season quickly approaching, Lavaca County OEM wanted to provide an overview of some available resources and changes for the season.
     
    2021 Hurricane Guide Now Online
    The NWS Corpus Christi 2021 Hurricane Guide is now online! PDF versions in English and Spanish are also available.
     
     
    NOAA Seasonal Outlook to be Released May 20
    The official NOAA hurricane season outlook will be released on May 20. Remember, it only takes one storm in South Texas for the region to have a "bad" season. Use the seasonal outlook as a reminder that it's time to prepare.
     
    New Normals for Hurricane Season
    Beginning with this year’s hurricane season outlooks, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. The updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have increased with 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. The average for major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) remains unchanged at 3. These normals are used when determining if a season is below, near, or above normal in terms of storm activity. The previous Atlantic storm averages, based on the period from 1981 to 2010, were 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. More information about this is available in the press release here.

    Regular Tropical Weather Outlooks to Begin May 15
    The National Hurricane Center will begin issuing routine Tropical Weather Outlooks on May 15. This does not mean that the start of the Atlantic hurricane season has changed this year, only that these outlooks will begin before the official start of the season on June 1. Additional information is available in this Public Information Statement.
     
  • Programs

    The Lavaca County Judge has overall responsibility for emergency management, preparedness, and response within the county. To assist in managing the day-to-day activities Lavaca County utilizes an Emergency Management Coordinator.

    Local emergency management programs include:

    • Carrying out public education relating to known hazards
    • Carrying out recovery activities in the aftermath of a disaster
    • Coordinating emergency response operations during incidents and disasters
    • Designing and implementing hazard mitigation programs
    • Emergency planning
    • Planning and conducting drills and exercises
    • Providing or arranging training for local officials and emergency responders
    • Threat identification and prevention activities

    Emergency Operations Center

    Lavaca County maintains an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), staffed by members of its various departments, that is activated to manage the response to major threats and incidents and coordinate internal and external resource support. Lavaca County operates under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to standardize operations and responses with other city, county, state, and federal responders.

    Management

    Lavaca County, Texas uses the Incident Command System (ICS) as our incident management scheme. Under ICS, an Incident Commander typically directs the on-scene response by local responders from a field command post set up at or near the incident site. Responders from Lavaca County, neighboring counties and cities, along with state and federal responders that have been called on to assist when local resources are not sufficient to deal with a major emergency, are also integrated into the local ICS.

    Egon Barthels serves as the Lavaca County Emergency Management Coordinator and can be reached at 361-798-5628.
  • Download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app today to stay informed of community, emergency, and severe weather alerts directly on your mobile device. The app is geo-aware, meaning that you will only receive alerts that impact your specific location. To download the app, visit https://onsolve.com/codered-mobile-alert-app/.
    If you are currently receiving emergency or community notifications from CodeRED in your area but would like to stop receiving them, please unsubscribe here. If you opt-out you will no longer receive these potentially life-saving alerts – but don’t worry, you can opt back in at any time.
    To sign up for CodeRED, Click here.

    Since January of 2018, Lavaca County Texas Office of Emergency Management has utilized the emergency communications system, CodeRED. Similar telephone notifications are also used by local municipalities, and school districts to inform parents of upcoming school events or emergency situations.

    The system is voice activated. The recipient must say “Hello” before the message will be relayed.

    For those residents without Internet access, they may call Lavaca County OEM at 361-798-5628 to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, primary phone number and the name of your cell service provider. Additional phone numbers can be entered as well.

    Again, the program can be utilized by both residences and businesses. If you have an unlisted phone number, have changed your phone number or address within the past year or use a cell phone or VoIP phone as your primary number, you should register for the alerts. Multiple telephone numbers can be attached to a single physical address, but residents cannot have multiple residences linked to one phone. Both IPhones and Android phones also have a CodeRED app available.
  • LAVACA COUNTY RESIDENTS WITH ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS ARE ENCOURAGED TO REGISTER WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE REGISTRY (STEAR) PROGRAM

    Lavaca County residents with access and functional needs are advised to register with the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) and update their information every January.

    The STEAR program is a free registry for Texans of any age that need additional assistance during an emergency event due to access or functional needs or lack of transportation for evacuation. The STEAR registry assists local emergency planners and responders with information about the needs of individuals in their community.

    “Many different kinds of emergencies can create an array of needs for Lavaca County Residents. Planning is vital to ensure all residents are assisted quickly and safely during emergencies,” said Egon Barthels, Emergency Management Coordinator, Lavaca County Office of Emergency Management.

    STEAR is intended for people with access and functional needs such as:

    People with limited mobility

    People who have sensory disabilities

    People who require additional medical assistance during an emergency event

    People who require transportation assistance

    People who require personal care assistance

    The information that is shared through STEAR should be updated every January to ensure information is up to date. Last minute registrations prior to a weather event or emergency may not reach local emergency managers.

    Residents can register by going online to https://stear.tdem.texas.gov/ or calling 2-1-1.

    Description
    Assists local emergency responders and officials in planning for emergency events. Having an applicant's information helps determine what kinds of services might be required during a disaster, and helps responders plan and train more effectively. Local governments use the information in different ways. 

    • Registration DOES NOT guarantee evacuation transportation or a specific service during an emergency. Registration is not a substitute for developing and maintaining your own family disaster plan
    • The applicant's information will be provided to participating local governments for their use in developing emergency management plans and to assist them in preparedness and response activities. Each local government uses the information in different ways.
    • A STEAR application must be filled out for each individual with additional assistance needs.
    • Callers requesting assistance during a disaster event should dial 9-1-1

    An individual's information will be kept in the system for 1 year. A notice will be sent reminding individuals that they must re-register for STEAR.

  • Is your street address number on your home or business property? If not, please post your assigned physical street address number right away.

    When you dial 9-1-1 from a traditional phone system in your home, the address and/or phone number is deployed on the 9-1-1 callraker's screen. The address shown should be your physical address is your 9-1-1 address, not a rural route or box number. 

    Your 9-1-1 address number should be posted and visible from the road so that emergency service agencies can easily find you in case of an emergency.

    Post Your Numbers

    In an emergency, seconds can sometimes make a life saving difference. Make sure your 9-1-1 address numbers are posted on your house or business and are easy to see from the road. A well marked location is much easier for law enforcement officers, firefighters and medical personnel to find you when you need help. 

    You can get street numbers at most hardware and discount stores for a reasonable price or you can even paint a sign. We recommend you get something reflective so it can be seen at night as well as during the day. Think like someone who has never located your home and post the address where it would be obvious. 

    Ensure even in town

    Just because you are located inside the city limits doesn't  necessarily mean your home or business is easier to locate than one in the rural area. Some communities have nice scroll number plates or number plates or numbers painted on the curb. Place a light that shines directly on your house numbers and/or make sure that the numbers are clear of any grass, bushes, etc. so that they can be seen. A nice alternative is lighted address sign - these can be found at most home improvement stores.

    Check your address with the phone company

    The phone company's information for your 9-1-1 address is what will display on the 9-1-1 center's equipment. It is very important that you check that the phone company has your correct 9-1-1 physical address and not an old or incomplete one listed. if you are unsure of your correct 9-1-1 address, contact your county 9-1-1 addressing coordinator.

    Report Missing Street Signs

    Another important aspect to locating you is to report missing road signs when you notice them. Although many emergency personnel know where most of the roads are located, a road sign ensures that they have the correct location. If you notice yours is missing or damaged, please report it to your County Commissioner, or if in the city, please call City Hall.

    Know Your Location!

    If you don't have traditional home phone service- this is the kind that you pay a local provider for and it plugs straight into the wall socket with no other equipment- then you must know your location because the odds are that your address and phone number information will not be provided. Sone things to know about your location would be what street you are traveling on, what mile marker was seen recently and direction of travel. Always state where your emergency is as soon as possible in the call, you may need to be transferred to the correct call center to get the appropriate help. 

    We Need Your Help

    • Display your address on your home- not just the mailbox.

    • Use Reflective Materials

    • Check your address through your phone company to be sure they have the correct address listed.

    • Report Missing Street Signs

    • Know Your Location

    To obtain a 9-1-1 address for your location, please call GCRPC 9-1-1 department Monday through Friday from 8 to noon and 1 to 5, at the number below.

  • COVID-19 ACTIVE CASES - LAVACA COUNTY 

    On Monday, May 10, 2021, DSHS Public Health Region 8 reports a total of 13 ACTIVE COVID-19 Cases in Lavaca County, Texas. Sorted by zip-code there are 7 in 77964 (Hallettsville); 1 in 77975 (Moulton); 3 in 77984 (Shiner); and 1 in 77995 (Yoakum, Lavaca County) .

    On Friday, May 7 2021, Golden Crescent Medial Operations Center (GCMOC) reports in Trauma Service Area - S (DeWitt, Calhoun, Victoria, Goliad, Lavaca, and Jackson counties) Hospital Capacity, there are 519 Total Staffed Beds with 1160 Total Beds Available. ICU Bed availability is 33%. There are 47 Lab Confirmed COVID-19 Patients in TSA-S Hospitals, COVID-19 patients to capacity is 9.1%. The rolling 7-day Average is 7.9%.

    5/10//2021 LAVACA COUNTY - The Department of State Health Services Public Health Region 8 has reached out to Lavaca County OEM about opportunities available now to bring a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to your business or establishment for your employees and employees' family members should they wish to be vaccinated. If you're interested in hosting a clinic at your business or you would like additional information, please call Lavaca County OEM at 361-798-5628.

    DSHS COVID-19 Dashboard:
    Click here to view the DSHS Public Health Region 8 COVID-19 Dashboard.

    Additional Texas COVID-19 Data:
    Click here to view Additional COVID-19 Data from DSHS

    DSHS Flu Surveillance Activity Report:
    Click here to view DSHS Flu Surveillance Activity

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    COVID-19 Vaccine in Texas

    Where Can I Find the COVID-19 Vaccine in Region 8?

    Visit the following websites:

    https://www.dshs.texas.gov/region8/COVID-19/

    https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine-hubs.aspx

    Or Call:
    210-949-2121

    ----------

    You can visit this link to determine how many Lavaca County residents have been vaccinated.

    To see the weekly Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Allocations by county, click here.

    Use the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Availability map to find a provider near you with vaccine available. Check the provider’s website for how to best sign up for a vaccine.

    People can find more information on COVID-19 vaccine at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine/.

    • The use of fetal cell lines is a very sensitive and important topic within some faith communities and among individuals with concerns about the ethics of using materials derived in this way. For additional information on this, please see this handout from North Dakota Health.
05/03/2021 - 5:20 PM - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION - 

Good Evening Residents and Lavaca County Stakeholders, LCOEM  has been contacted by TDEM to see if there is anyone in the county that still needs assistance in repairing damages from Winter Storm Uri.  

If you or you know of anyone, please let us know by calling our office at 361-798-5628. Please DO NOT post contact information in the comments on this Facebook post and page. 

FEMA has offered to come to Lavaca County to present and assist those that are still dealing with repair issues.  Your response to our request for information will assist us in making this decision.

Thank You, 
Egon Barthels, Coordinator
Lavaca County Office of Emergency Management
  • The Texas Division of Emergency Management has created a simple self reporting survey in order for Texans to report their damage and impacts from this recent winter event.  It is very important that residents and businesses report their damage so the State receives the amount of financial support from the federal government needed to assist residents.  Please help spread the word, and if you know friends, neighbors, and colleagues that have experienced some damage or some impacts from this disaster, have them fill out the survey. 

    You can access the survey through the QR code, or going to the tdem.texas.gov/warm website where there is a link to the self reporting survey.
  • 4-13-2021 2:00 PM - Here is the Governor’s Proclamation renewing the state of disaster incident 21-0003 February Winter Weather Event.

    Governor Abbott Announces Extension For FEMA Individual Assistance Registration Period

    AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that at the request of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the Individual Assistance registration period for Texans impacted by the winter storm. Individuals who live inqualifying counties now have until May 20, 2021 to submit damages and make claims to FEMA. 

     

    "Thank you to FEMA for granting this registration period extension for Individual Assistance to counties severely impacted by the winter storm," said Governor Abbott. "I encourage Texans in the qualifying counties to apply for this assistance to help repair any lasting damages from the storm."

     

    The Governor originally requested Individual Assistance for all 254 Texas counties on February 18th. On February 20th, the White House partially approved Texas' request for a Major Disaster Declaration. The partial approval included Individual Assistance in 77 counties and for Public Assistance (Emergency Protective Measures Only) in all 254 counties. Later in February, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) re-requested — and FEMA approved — an additional 31 counties to be added to the President's Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance. On February 26th, FEMA approved anadditional 18 countiesfor Individual Assistance. TDEM continues working closely with local officials to conduct damage assessments and is providing those damage totals from across the state to FEMA for their determination on further county add-ons for both federal Individual Assistance and additional categories of Public Assistance. 

     

    Texans in the 126 counties that qualify for Individual Assistance can apply at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

    To apply for assistance, or to update information to include a request for specialized assistance, contact FEMA by:

    §  Going online at DisasterAssistance.gov

    §  Downloading the FEMA app to a smart phone or tablet

    §  Calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585

    If you need a reasonable accommodation or assistance filling out your FEMA application, please call 833-283-7448 or TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should alert FEMA as to the specific number assigned to that service.

    The following accessible video explains the three ways you can register for FEMA assistance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw&feature=youtu.be

    When applying for assistance, have the following information readily available:

    • A current phone number where you can be contacted
    • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
    • Your Social Security number, if available
    • A general list of damage and losses, and
    • If insured, the insurance policy number, and the agent or company name

    The following accessible video provides answers to questions you may have regarding registering for assistance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=Kfbf56VHOcc&feature=youtu.be

    Download the FEMA App:

    Get it on Google Play. You can also download the app via text messaging on an Android device: Text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA)

    Download on the Apple App Store. You can also download the app via text messaging on an Apple Device: Text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA)

    Learn more: fema.gov/disaster/4586

    Assistance May Be Available from Other Sources if FEMA Cannot Help

    DR-4586-TX / FS 005

    Not all survivors of February’s storms are eligible for FEMA assistance. Others may be eligible for some aid, but for less than they need. Where can these survivors turn for help? Whom can they call?

    Many State, Federal Agencies Offer Disaster Assistance

    Working both independently and in cooperation with FEMA, many state and federal cabinet departments and agencies offer scores of free services, programs and grants to Texas survivors of the severe winter weather. Many of these government entities that may be of help are listed here:

    Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC)

    HHSC is allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their food benefits to purchase hot foods and ready-to-eat meals through the end of March. Foods such as rotisserie chicken or grocery store deli foods can be purchased at retailers that accept SNAP anywhere in the state, using the Lone Star Card.

    §  SNAP recipients may also apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed, due to storm-related power outages, by dialing 2-1-1 (option 2).

    Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)

    Texas residents who lost their jobs, as well as self-employed individuals who have been unable to work, due to damage sustained from the severe winter storms, may apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a federally-funded program administered by TWC which is accepting applications until March 26, 2021, at Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

    U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

    To date, the SBA has approved more than $20 million in low-interest loans to storm-impacted Texans.

    • SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST weekdays. For more information about loans for homeowner, renters and businesses, or to apply for a loan, contact an SBA customer service representative by email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov, by phone at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

    USDA Rural Development Disaster Assistance offers several programs to help storm survivors improve the quality of life in rural communities. Among the programs available to rural homeowners and renters are:

    • Rural housing loans offer a subsidy to help reduce mortgage payments for a short time. Your family income determines the amount of the subsidy. You may use the loan to help you buy, build, repair, improve or relocate your primary home. You may also use funds to buy and prepare sites, including water and sewer installation.

     

    • Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants may be used to repair, improve or modernize your home. Available to homeowners over 62 years of age, this money may also be used for removing health and safety hazards from your home. Loans are available in amounts of up to $20,000; grants of

    up to $7,500 (which may be combined with loans).

     

    • Rural rental housing and cooperative housing assistance is available in nearly every county in Texas.

    To qualify for any of these programs, you must live in a rural area. For more information or to apply for these and other USDA programs, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov .

    U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

    HUD has announced federal disaster assistance programs to provide support to Texas homeowners and homebuyers. Programs include:

    • Foreclosure protections for homeowners in presidentially declared major disaster areas; and
    • FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary.

    For more information on HUD disaster resources, visit https://www.hud.gov/info/disasterresources.

    Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

    Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network™ offers free support for eligible homeowners from HUD-approved housing advisers, including:

    • Personalized recovery assessment and action plan;
    • Assistance filing claims (i.e. FEMA, insurance and SBA);
    • Help working with mortgage provider on payment relief options;
    • Access to Clearpoint’s Project Porchlight disaster recovery tools and resources; and
    • Ongoing check-ins to help ensure a successful recovery.

    For more information and to arrange to connect with a Clearpoint Project Porchlight adviser, call 877-833-1746.

    U.S. Department of the Treasury

    Don't let a disaster come between you and your money. If you get federal benefit payments by check, you can switch to direct deposit, so your money is directly deposited into a checking or savings account on payment day each month. This removes the risk of a delayed payment due to a disaster.

    You may choose from two electronic payment options:

    • Direct Deposit - Your payment is deposited into your checking or savings account. Learn more about direct deposit online at www.godirect.gov.
    • Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® - A prepaid debit card you can use to make retail purchases, pay bills, and get cash back. It’s a no- or low-cost alternative to paper checks. 

    Redeem savings bonds early – before the end of the usual minimum 12-month holding period – if you live in a county designated in the severe winter weather declaration.

    §  If your Series EE, HH or I bonds were lost, damaged, destroyed or contaminated by the storms and flooding, you may be able to get faster replacement of these paper bonds. For more information, visit treasurydirect.gov/indiv/bonds_eeredeem_disaster.htm.

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    Special tax law provisions may help individual taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of last February’s storms. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS is giving Texans until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

    Individuals and businesses in federally declared disaster areas can get a faster refund by claiming disaster losses on the previous year’s tax return, usually by filing an amended return. You may deduct the loss or partial loss of your home, household goods vehicles from disaster damage on your individual federal income tax return. For more information, visit the www.irs.govwebsite.

    Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

    The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a national hotline that offers year-round disaster crisis counseling. If you feel distressed because of the storms, you can use this free service. It’s toll-free, multilingual crisis support, and is available every day, 24 hours a day. Helpline staff provides counseling and support and can help you learn how to cope with common stress reactions. They can also provide information and referrals to local resources for follow-up care.

    If you or someone you know is struggling in the aftermath of the Texas winter storms, call or text DDH at 800-985-5990. To learn more, visit https:www.SAMHSA.gov

    And More…

    You can get access to more disaster help and resources, as well as a personalized list of available assistance at www.benefits.gov/benefit-finder/Household.

    For the latest information on the Texas winter storms, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4586

    USDA resources for impacted counties

    USDA programs available for recovery

    “Eligibility and program rules may differ by county (e.g. what’s considered a temporary fix in one county may be considered a permanent fix in another part of the State)  message about the array of USDA Disaster assistance programs for Farmers/Ranchers is to contact their local USDA Service Center.” (Service Center locator  https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app)

    Programs:

    https://www.farmers.gov/connect/blog/disaster-planning-and-assistance/usda-offers-disaster-assistance-producers-facing

    ·         Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants can help very-low-income homeowners make repairs to their homes. Grants are restricted to eligible applicants 62 or older. Texas is participating in a pilot program that increases the program limits to $10,000 for grants and $40,000 for loans offering a combined $50,000 in assistance, in addition to some other changes.

    In regards to infrastructure:

    ·         Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants can help eligible rural communities of 10,000 or fewer make repairs to their community water system that has suffered a significant decline in water quality or quantity due to the storms.

    ·         Coordinate across the Rural Development portfolio to work with existing borrowers who have suffered damage to the storms to help support their recovery and where applicable, potentially restructure their existing debt.

    In regards to public-use facilities or nonprofits:

    ·         Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program funds can be used to help with the long-term recovery from this storm. The program can support a variety of projects for essential facilities that may have been damaged by the disaster or to better handle future situations. Examples include equipment such as generators, vehicles, replace/repair damages, etc.”

    DOWNLOADS:
    Communities Facilities Fact Sheet
    Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant Fact Sheet
    Housing Repair Loan Fact Sheet 508 (Pilot) (TX)

  • DR-4586-TX: TEXAS SEVERE WINTER STORMS

     
     

    §  FEMA and state officials are warning consumers about scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals trying to take advantage of disaster survivors. Price-gouging, door-to-door bogus contractors and fake charities are common scams. Report any suspicious activity to FEMA’s Fraud Tip line at 866-223-0814 or FEMA-OCSO-Tipline@fema.dhs.gov. Or, contact the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508 or go online to file a consumer complaint.

    §  Survivors of the severe winter storms can make it easier to communicate with FEMA by creating an online account. You can upload documents and check the status of your application from anywhere with an internet connection. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).

    §  To download the FEMA app:

    o   Apple devices: text APPLE to 43362;

    o   Android devices: text ANDROID to 43362;

    o   Visit fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app.

     

    §  To help Texans Navigate Recovery After Severe Winter Storms, FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program (IA) provides financial assistance and direct services to eligible individuals and households who have uninsured and underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. IA is not a substitute for insurance and cannot pay for all losses caused by a disaster, but rather is intended to meet basic needs and help survivors get back on their feet. For more information about last month’s winter storms, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4586.

    §  FEMA will conduct virtual home inspections for applicants who reported damage from February’s winter storms. Inspectors will call applicants to initiate the inspection, which in many cases can be offered via video streaming using Apple’s FaceTime or Zoom Video Communications. FEMA inspectors are trained to assist applicants with downloading and/or signing up for Zoom if necessary. For more information on the process visit: FEMA Uses Technology to Conduct Inspections for Disaster Survivors - YouTube.

     

    Individual Assistance Program

     

    §  Since the Feb. 19 federal disaster declaration, more than $95.3 million in assistance has been approved for survivors in Texas. (Source www.fema.gov March 18)

    §  Disaster assistance may include monetary awards to help pay for emergency home repairs for disaster-related damage to a primary residence, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, and other serious disaster-related expenses.

    §  FEMA External Civil Rights Advisors deploy to disasters to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, English proficiency and economic status, in the delivery of FEMA programs and activities and those conducted by recipients of FEMA financial assistance. For more information, visit https://www.fema.gov/about/offices/equal-rights/civil-rights. FEMA’s Civil Rights Resource Line number is 833-285-7448.      

    Federal and State Agency Resources

     

    §  While not all survivors of February’s winter storms are eligible for FEMA assistance there may be other state and federal assistance available to them, including:

    o   The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their food benefits to purchase hot foods and ready-to-eat meals due to impacts from the severe winter storms. Foods such as rotisserie chicken or grocery store deli foods can be purchased at retailers that accept SNAP anywhere in the state, using the Lone Star Card, through the end of March. SNAP recipients can also apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed due to the severe weather.

     

      • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $20 million in low-interest loans to help Texas businesses and residents recover from the storms. Businesses, nonprofits and residents who sustained damage due to the storms are encouraged to apply for a loan at SBA Disaster Assistanceprior to the April 21, 2021 deadline.

     

     

    FEMAOnline

     

    §  Follow FEMA on social media atFEMA online,on Twitter@FEMAor@FEMAEspanol, onFEMAFacebook pageorFEMA Espanol pageand atFEMA YouTube channel.

    §  TodownloadtheFEMAMobileApp:

    o   OnanAndroiddevice: Text2637643(ANDROID)to 43362(4FEMA)

    o   OnanAppleDevice:Text27753 (APPLE)to43362(4FEMA)

     

    *Designated Counties

     

    Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Bosque, Bowie, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Deval, Eastland, Ector, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kleberg, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Llano, Lubbock, Medina, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise and Wood.

    For concerns and allegations of discrimination, please contact the Office of Equal Rights at headquarters at 202-212-3535 or FEMA-Civil-Rights-Program-OER@fema.dhs.gov.

    • SBA Tops $100 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans for Texas Severe Winter Storms

       

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West announced today that SBA has approved more than $100 million in federal disaster loans for Texas businesses and residents impacted by severe winter storms that occurred Feb. 11-21, 2021. According to Garfield, SBA has approved $10,365,600 for businesses and $93,195,400 for residents to help rebuild and recover from this disaster.

       

      “SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Garfield. Businesses and residents in Texas who sustained damages are encouraged to register prior to the May 20, 2021, deadline with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. “Don’t miss out on any assistance you may be entitled to by not registering for help. You don’t need to wait for your insurance to settle or obtain a contractor’s estimate,” she added.

       

      SBA continues to provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants through the following virtual centers on the days and times indicated.

       

      Virtual Business Recovery Center and

      Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center

      Monday – Friday (5 days/week)

      8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time

      FOCWAssistance@sba.gov

      (800) 659-2955

       

      Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA can also lend additional funds to help business and residents with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

       

      For small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Nov. 19, 2021.

       

      Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

       

      Interest rates can be as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

       

      Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

       

      The Texas counties eligible for property damage and economic injury loans are:  Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kleberg, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Llano, Lubbock, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise and Wood.

       

      The neighboring Texas counties eligible for economic injury loans only are:  Andrews, Archer, Baylor, Borden, Callahan, Camp, Cass, Clay, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Dawson, Delta, Dimmit, Edwards, Fayette, Fisher, Floyd, Franklin, Frio, Garza, Glasscock, Hale, Hamilton, Haskell, Hockley, Hopkins, Irion, Jack, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, La Salle, Lamar, Lamb, Lampasas, Lee, Live Oak, Lynn, Marion, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, McMullen, Menard, Midland, Mills, Mitchell, Morris, Nolan, Rains, Reagan, Real, Red River, Refugio, Runnels, San Augustine, San Saba, Schleicher, Shackelford, Somervell, Starr, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Upton, Uvalde, Ward, Wilbarger, Winkler, Young, Zapata and Zavala.

       

      The neighboring Arkansas counties eligible for economic injury loans only are Little River and Miller.

       

      The neighboring Louisiana parishes eligible for economic injury loans only are Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, De Soto, Sabine and Vernon.

       

      The neighboring Oklahoma counties eligible for economic injury loans only are Bryan, Cotton, Jefferson, Love, Marshall, McCurtain and Tillman.

      • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Texas Small Businesses

         

        SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small nonfarm businesses in 36 Texas counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began Feb. 23, 2021.

         

        Primary counties:  Fayette, Gonzales, Kent, Lavaca, Parker, Stonewall and Wise;

        Neighboring counties:  Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Cooke, Crosby, Denton, Dewitt, Dickens, Fisher, Garza, Guadalupe, Haskell, Hood, Jack, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, King, Knox, Lee, Montague, Palo Pinto, Scurry, Tarrant, Victoria, Washington and Wilson.

         

        “SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

         

        Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

         

        “Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

         

        By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on April 19, 2021.

         

        Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

         

        Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

         

        The deadline to apply for economic injury is Dec. 20, 2021.